Gaikai Lets You Shoot A Man In The Face On Facebook

I’m writing this in one tab as a tractor is idling away in another, and it’s not even a webgame: right now I have Farming Simulator 2011 running on Facebook, via Gaikai. That’s kind of neat. The cloud-streaming service is hosting seven demos of PC games, with five available in Europe and (Magicka, Sniper – Ghost Warrior, The Witcher 2 – Assassins of Kings, Orcs Must Die!, Farming Simulator 2011) the US, and two (Saints Row – The Third, Dead Rising 2 – Off the Record) only playable to US Facebookers. You get 30 minutes of gametime to test out potential buys, before you need to return to update your status as “Farmboy”.

I’ve already tried out Sniper – Ghost Warrior, which ran perfectly smoothly and playable, if a bit grainy. It felt like a 720p upscaled to fit my monitor, which I actually think is what it does. But there was no lag at all: I kept check of the bandwidth and it was sucking down 1mb per second, so there’s a hefty bandwidth cost accrued. I’d love it if the game updated your status, especially if they were without context.

Go on, like it.

Is this the future? It’s an impressive tech, but for now Gaikai seem more comfortable delivering content as demonstrations rather than full-games: even placing it on a platform as large as Facebook, if they continue to be merely a provider of small chunks of games, I can’t see how they’ll grow the idea that this sort of service is viable. OnLive is rather impressive as well, but I think it needs a big company and platform to move it away from the ‘that’s neat’ reaction I’m having. Still, I’d rather see this become something the industry gets behind over 3D.

Go on: be brave.


  1. Squirrelfanatic says:


    • Archangel says:

      Can we shoot Facebook in the face? Perhaps with some form of book-shooting weapon?

  2. Phantoon says:

    I support this as a technology, but not as a business move. Less control is less good.

    • ArSo says:

      Imagine full intergration with facebook with steamlike achivements, facebook payments, status updates by games etc.

      It seems like a great business move.

      Especially when people are lazy. They cant be bothered with installing, updating… games, they just want to play. And now they can

    • Smashbox says:

      IMAGINE: If devs made games specifically for massive datacenter computers, i.e. something that no home machine could ever hope to be able to render at any decent framerate without bursting into flames. These cloud services could offer something truly different.

      • Bhazor says:

        Could /= Will

        More to the point most games don’t even stress the current hardware of home computers. Hardware has been out stripping the software for years now and that probably won’t change anytime soon.

      • eks says:

        You mean like the server side components of an MMO?

        Or was that your point and my sarcasm detector is playing up?

  3. Eukatheude says:

    Lags like hell.

  4. mentor07825 says:

    I tried to like it but nothing is happening D;

  5. Bhazor says:

    I don’t like streaming games like this (loss of control, no ownership, potential for hackers, lag, inevitable server meltdowns) but I will say it makes for great demos.

    If Steam or Gamersgate could integrate the same system alongside conventional downloads then that really could be something.

    • aurens says:

      yea i wouldn’t be willing to use this for anything other than a demo. the input lag is just too much to deal with for a full game.

  6. shaydeeadi says:

    Gaikai is better than OnLive, but still poor quality and laggy.

    • datom says:

      Onlive is neither laggy nor poor quality. I’m not sure on what grounds Gaikai is better.

      An Onlive micro console plugged into my TV has become my gaming device of choice – it cost me the princely sum of £0. My saves are transportable so when I travel with work I throw the controller in my laptop bag and pick up where I left off. It suits me perfectly.

      I still use my laptop for gog back catalogue, OOTP, FM and spiderweb games, but I’ll never need to buy anything more expensive than a net book to get a AAA fix. People criticise these things but for folks like me their ideal.

  7. Jhoosier says:

    This would be awesome if: 1) it would actually run instead of telling me my bandwidth just dropped too low, and 2) the facebook bit was available in my region.

  8. Frank says:

    don’t see what facebook has to do with this. i just visited gaikai’s main site to demo several games, some of which are not listed above (from dust). way better performance than onlive, though still not good enough for anything beyond a demo.

  9. Carra says:

    It’s not the future as along as I have monthly download limits.